Reblog: “All Retch and No Vomit”

Freedom: From the Alan Watts video

Freedom: From the Alan Watts video

Things are still hanging on by a feverish thread here in the Martin household, with little man peeling away my last layers of patience with his fractious, “Mummy, but..” “Mummy, can we just…” “Mummy, I’m bored / tired / miss Daddy” and “Mummy, I’m hungry…” followed by a refusal to eat anything, on eternal loop.

I  decided to look back twelve months to see if this is normal January/February stuff. It is. We need to holiday somewhere hot in the winter to avoid this annual decimation of the family health and happiness and to preserve my ongoing sanity.

In the meantime, as I have no words, I’ve decided to steal a post from back then, 9th February 2013 to be exact, to keep the blog alive in my absence. The title seemed very fitting, as it describes the coughing noise that’s become the soundtrack to my life! (Sorry, too much info!). Joking aside, the Alan Watts speech resonated with me back then and, listening to it again, now my daughter has started school, it has even more meaning now. This is the original post:

________

The Alan Watts video, What if Money Didn’t Matter?, came my way today via Facebook. It’s been around a while so I’m sure most people have seen it. If you haven’t, check it out on YouTube.

My favourite line (describing schooling and how we raise our kids to want the things we want) is

“it’s all retch and no vomit.”

You can’t beat that for an image with impact.

Actually the line that truly resonated was this:

“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

What if Money Didn't Matter?

What if Money Didn’t Matter?

Now I know if you have kids, responsibilities, mortgages and so forth, this is a difficult thing to fit into your life. Many of the less positive comments beneath the video are along the lines of “that’s all well and good but I’m a single mum / I have a mortgage / I have bills to pay, I can’t afford to do what I want.” Or my favourite, “what; do I tell my kids not to bother with their homework?”.

To me that has missed the point. It doesn’t have to be so black and white. We can knuckle down to hard work and try to direct that towards something we will love doing in the future. And if in some ways we are already caught in the trap, stuck in a career that’s more about money than happiness, it doesn’t mean we can’t try and pass a different ethos onto our children.

Yes kids still need to do their homework.

Having aspirations doesn’t mean it won’t take hard work to realise them. I think the message is to find something you love and put it nearer the centre of your career than the need to get rich.

When my husband first watched the video he realised he didn’t know what he would do if he didn’t have to earn money. That’s a sad realisation at forty. He’s given it some thought and come up with some answers but I think it’s important to know what you love doing even if it isn’t possible to do it.

I’m probably rambling making no sense: it’s been a long day on little sleep and too much coughing. I might revisit this topic when I’m feeling more lucid. In the meantime I love the first screenshot I captured, I think it encapsulates the journey Claire is on as she realises life is about more than earning enough money to buy the next must-have designer shoes.

P.S. Why did I never have Claire parascend into a cave? That would have been amazing! One for the sequel maybe…

5 thoughts on “Reblog: “All Retch and No Vomit”

  1. That is a great video clip, and makes its point really well. I’ve come to believe that if you do what you love, and do it consistently and well, the money will follow. And sometimes I think that claims by others when they day, Oh, you’ll never make money doing THAT, are merely ways for them to justify their own dissatisfaction with the choices they’ve made.
    Encourage your children to follow their dreams. 🙂
    (Hope you all feel better soon!)

    • People spend a lot of time justifying their choices by putting down the choices of others (me included!) I’m happy for my daughter to be a writer and my son a dancer, but as a parent I do worry they’ll be skint and unhappy. I was only able to make the choice to give up a well paid job to earn nothing writing because I’d had a well paid job to give up! Although if careers advice was more open to non-academic choices it might be possible to learn more about how to make money writing, rather than relying on luck, blog posts and hearsay! 🙂

      I didn’t notice the typo, which just goes to show you read what you expect to see!

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